Dustin Labby

A Q&A with the winner of the January Hotshot photo contest

by Kirsten Armleder

Faceshot sledder.
Dustin Labby got this faceshot while he and a buddy were tearing up freshies at Crowfoot Mountain in the Shuswap, B.C. Kyle Bopre photo

Everyone has his or her own version of what an epic day of sledding should look like. For some, it’s a bluebird day in spring, wearing T-shirts and riding on top of the snow. For others, it’s a gnarly, socked-in day full of stucks.

So there are times when you can't listen to what everyone else is saying. You just need to get out there and see it for yourself, remembering that a foggy day at the trailhead could mean crystal clear skies and deep pow up top. That’s why for last month’s hotshot contest, we chose this photo that was sent in by Dustin Labby of Kelowna, B.C. It captures the freedom and overall joy of finding untouched snow.

Labby was the lucky winner of a Spot Gen 3 Satellite GPS Messenger, courtesy of Globalstar Inc. Here’s our Q&A with him:

How long have you been a sledder?

I’ve been sledding and snowboarding in the backcountry since ’86.  

How did you get into snowmobiling?

Sledding was a family pastime. My uncles still ride.

What was your first sled?

My first sled was a Yamaha Bravo 250 cc.

What’s your current machine?

A Ski-Doo XM 163 T3

Where do you usually ride?

I mainly ride from Golden, B.C., to North Shuswap. Sicamous is my favourite.

What’s your favourite kind of riding?

My favourite is freeriding with no tracks, following by jumping natural terrain.

Tell us more about the day you took this photo.

I watched the weather all week at work and woke up on my first day off to some deep dark cloudy interior overcast (weather) in Kamloops. I drove into North Shuswap and picked up my best friend with high hopes of good visibility at elevation. We unloaded in thick fog and headed up the trail to Crowfoot Mountain. Around 5,500 feet (1,676 metres), we broke through to a sunny single inversion and rode headlight-deep powder and burnt through our fuel before lunch time. It was a sunny powder playday.

What does the sport mean to you?

Breaking into new areas that have never been ridden with good friends, pushing your personal limits with new terrain and getting that sled off the snow. 

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